I’ve acquired a new vocabulary over the last week and a half watching the Olympic sport of Curling. The Rock, The Sheet, the End, the House, the Button. The Skip, the Sweepers. I love the intensity of the players. The discussions of tactics. The skill it takes to throw the rock just right, putting it in the House or taking an opponents Rock out. The Thrower yelling instructions at the Sweepers as they attempt to direct the Rock’s trajectory. (Top 5 screams here.) The drama – yes there is drama. The Skip of the US Men’s team was replaced in one game because the coach thought he was losing his throwing edge, after the team had 3 losses. The US Women conceded a game with Canada with the score at Canada 9, US 2.
And I am not alone. Players have complained that the noise in the stadium is distracting, they are not used to having cheering fans. The US Men’s team has an honorary captain in Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers. They have been treated like rock stars (or snowboarders) around Vancouver.
They have lots of press on the web and on TV. You can read about US Women’s team member Nicole Joraanstad’s tattoos. Chrys Plys showed his tattoos off during an interview on CNBC. (Sorry ladies, couldn’t find the video!) Watch an MSNBC interview with the US Men’s Skipper John Shuster. They have their own Wikipedia pages!
Alas the US teams, men and women, are not doing well this year. However, I think their exposure on national television will help their sport in terms of fans and monetary support. Looks like the Canadians are on the way to a medal so we can still cheer on our neighbors to the north.
I have a theory as to why I am attracted to this sport – and it’s somewhat nostalgic. I grew up in the country, in the middle of 100 acres, 5 miles from th e nearest town, and it was small. In the 60’s there were no satellite dishes or cable in the country and we were lucky to be able to pull in some local stations from Cincinnati and Columbus with an aerial antennae. On Sunday afternoons, with nothing to do and especially in bad weather, we would watch BPA King of Bowling on a station out of Columbus, Ohio. I think Curling has some things in common with Bowling, the hush as the Thrower throws the Rock is like the hush as the bowler rolls the ball. Yes, both of them can be like watching paint dry. Takes me back to those lazy afternoons of yesteryear…..
Read about the team and sport at TeamUSACurling2010.com.